We cannot achieve sustainable development and make our society better for all if people are excluded from the chance of a better life. In today’s world, we are all interconnected. Global inequality affects us all, no matter who we are or where we are from.
To mark the annual commemoration of UNAIDS’ Zero Discrimination Day, Dr. Richard Konteh of the All People’s Congress Party (APC), and Flagbearer contender highlights the urgent need for every Sierra Leonean to take action to end the inequalities and discrimination surrounding income, age, health status, occupation, disability, class, ethnicity, religion, political and gender identity that continue to persist in the country, Sierra Leone.
Dr. Konteh raises the alarm that inequality is growing for more than 70% of the population, exacerbating the risk of division and hampering economic and social development.
Confronting inequalities and ending discrimination is critical to our progress as a nation, Dr. Konteh laments. “Members of key demographics are often discriminated against, stigmatized and, in many cases, criminalized and targeted by law enforcement. Research has shown that this social and structural discrimination results in significant inequalities in access to justice, education and in health outcomes. If we tackle inequality and discrimination together, we will save millions of lives and benefit our society.”
Dr. Konteh expressed that, the political, economic, and social policies in Sierra Leone need to protect the rights of everyone and pay attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized communities. Ending inequality requires transformative change. Greater efforts are needed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and there is a need to invest more in health, education, social protection, and decent jobs.
“As citizens, let us call on our governments – both local and national, to promote inclusive social and economic growth. They must eliminate discriminatory laws, policies and practices in order to ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities. As individuals, we also can play our part by calling out discrimination where we see it, by setting an example or by advocating to change the law. We all have a role to play in ending discrimination and so reducing inequalities,” said Dr. Konteh.
Dr. Richard Konteh’s Unifier Campaign is big on social reforms. D-Unifier is a movement that seeks to change the social and political landscape in Sierra Leone. Dr. Konteh is particularly concerned about injustice - be it social, economic, political, legal or tribal. “We believe sustainable poverty alleviation is possible in Sierra Leone only when greater equity among all the population groups is achieved”, Dr. Konteh affirmed. D-Unifier is helping to shape a poverty-free and socially-just Sierra Leonean society.